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Old 05-08-2013, 03:53 PM   #1
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Whirring noise from the back

Aloha,

Just picked up our 2013 in TX 3 weeks ago to full time in for the next... Till we get bored. Anyway, love the rig but as I was driving it off the lot and got it up to speed, realized there is a whirling noise at around 1800 and 2500 RPM. Almost like a resonant sound and really loud and annoying. Really only happens when the engine is under load. So with the cruise set at 70-75, every hill we hit, there it is. Ooooooooooooo! (Trying to replicate a sound in type) kind of like a ghost.

I had my wife drive it to replicate the sound. I could have sworn that it was some open cavity resonating but when out of the drivers seat, it seems to be coming from the rear. I put my ear to the floor and then it was really loud. Called airstream and they said it was a chassis problem. Three weeks later and 3k miles, it's still happening.

It also grumbles when coming to a stop especially when driving slow like through a parking lot or campground. I thought it was a braking problem because you can feel the whole rig shake a little when you hear the grumble. The grumble is more then just a sound and you can feel it in the pedal almost like warped rotors and only happens when the engine breaks with either the food on the brake pedal or not.

Now we are in Atlanta at Mercedes and the mechanics and their bosses all hear what I'm talking about but 3 days later, they are still trying to figure this out.

Anyone else have this problem?
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:54 PM   #2
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Aloha,

Just picked up our 2013 in TX 3 weeks ago to full time in for the next... Till we get bored. Anyway, love the rig but as I was driving it off the lot and got it up to speed, realized there is a whirling noise at around 1800 and 2500 RPM. Almost like a resonant sound and really loud and annoying. Really only happens when the engine is under load. So with the cruise set at 70-75, every hill we hit, there it is. Ooooooooooooo! (Trying to replicate a sound in type) kind of like a ghost.

I had my wife drive it to replicate the sound. I could have sworn that it was some open cavity resonating but when out of the drivers seat, it seems to be coming from the rear. I put my ear to the floor and then it was really loud. Called airstream and they said it was a chassis problem. Three weeks later and 3k miles, it's still happening.

It also grumbles when coming to a stop especially when driving slow like through a parking lot or campground. I thought it was a braking problem because you can feel the whole rig shake a little when you hear the grumble. The grumble is more then just a sound and you can feel it in the pedal almost like warped rotors and only happens when the engine breaks with either the food on the brake pedal or not.

Now we are in Atlanta at Mercedes and the mechanics and their bosses all hear what I'm talking about but 3 days later, they are still trying to figure this out.

Anyone else have this problem?
By the way, we have a 2013 Interstate EXT.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:54 PM   #3
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Anyone else have this problem?
Nope. Nothing even close.

Wild-arsed guesses:
1 - Rear differential low on grease, planetary gears not properly lubricated. That would explain the grinding.
2 - Bearing somewhere in the drivetrain needs grease. That would explain the high-pitched whine at higher speed. If it's on the differential, where the driveshaft enters, then 1 and 2 could be related. Both cases, sound would appear to come from below the floor, in the back right in between the wheelwells, but since the sound would also be transmitted forward by the driveshaft, you'd hear it up front, too.

If my guess is right, you might not be able to locate the sounds with the vehicle up on a rack, because then there is no ground pressure on the tires, and the half-axles aren't loaded the same way as when it's on the ground. And because it's not revved up to high rpms on a lift, they wouldn't hear the whine, either.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:09 PM   #4
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Turbocharger?
Low pressure fuel pump?
Restriction in the exhaust pipe (bent/kinked)?
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:02 PM   #5
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I can't believe the MB shop wouldn't have a set of "Chassis Ears".

I used them a lot at the Chevy Store.


"Old School"
Try putting a 90 degree section on the tail pipe to change the resonance.

Bob
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:06 PM   #6
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I'm with Protagonist's first guess. You describe the classic rear differential ring and pinion complaint. However, the low speed grumble has me more worried than the whine under load. Needs to be inspected ASAP.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:50 PM   #7
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Don't know if the Sprinter has a two-piece driveshaft w/ a carrier bearing but if it does, the carrier bearing may be bad. Kind of a stretch for a new vehicle tho.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:25 PM   #8
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Don't know if the Sprinter has a two-piece driveshaft w/ a carrier bearing but if it does, the carrier bearing may be bad. Kind of a stretch for a new vehicle tho.
The Sprinter does in fact have a two-piece driveshaft with a center carrier bearing. And, these carrier bearings have a history of failures. Couldn't comment on the likelihood of early failure though. Go to the Sprinter Forum NCV3 Talk section NCV3 Talk - Sprinter-Forum and search for "carrier bearing" and you will get LOTS of hits.

Good luck,
Wayne
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:17 PM   #9
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Ok so it's been 2 weeks and a new differential and we are still at the Mercedes dealer and still have the whiting noise. They just can't figure it out.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:49 PM   #10
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UMM....two piece driveshaft...it could be out of phase, where all three u-joints should be oriented the same.

You can see on this shaft they are a couple splines off..




Bob
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:18 AM   #11
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I will check that Bob. Thanks
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:57 AM   #12
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Surely the people at MB can't be this dumb, but if the grease seals for the pinion, rear wheel hubs, and tailshaft for the transmission were assembled dry, they can make a squealing whirring noise from the yokes spinning within them.
I've also seen rear brake pads make a whirring noise when new, there could be a small piece of metal touching a rotor, or (this would be the really dumb part) one of the inner dual tires could be very low on pressure.
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:13 AM   #13
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Terry brings up a good point....

In my experience the most difficult concern with a "noise" diagnosis can be duplicating the customer problem..... "well it WAS doing it yesterday"
Once confirmed, it's not usually hard to source, using the proper tools, experience AND hardware.

It's 'kinda hard to believe that the dealer can hear it but not find it.

Best of luck..

Bob
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:34 AM   #14
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